Alamo Day 13, the Battle Takes Place

March 6, 1836

The Battle of the Alamo continued on March 6, 1836. On this day, Mexican forces overwhelmed the Texan garrison. Despite the heroic efforts of the Texans, they were defeated after a bloody battle that lasted for 90 minutes.

Alamo Battle, 1836, Day 13, Siege of the Alamo

This painting by Lajos Markos depicts William B. Travis leading the Texans at the Battle of the Alamo, moments before his death.

What happened at the Battle of the Alamo on the last day?

This video from The Alamo in San Antonio Texas summarizes the events that took place on the thirteenth day of the siege — and the day of the famous Battle of the Alamo — which was a key part of the Texas Revolution.

Facts About Day 13 of the Alamo

Mexican Forces Storm the Alamo

  • At midnight on March 5, Mexican troops moved into position to launch the attack on the Alamo. 
  • Around 5:30 a.m., they received the order to attack.
  • The Mexicans quietly moved forward and encountered Texans who were supposed to be on watch but were sleeping. The Texans were killed in their sleep.
  • The Mexicans stormed the Alamo, shouting “Viva la Republica!” and “Viva Santa Anna!”

The Alamo Wakes

  • Inside the Alamo, Adjutant John Baugh was on his morning rounds when he heard the shouts of the Mexican troops. 
  • He ran to the quarters of Colonel William Barret Travis and woke him up, shouting, “Colonel Travis, the Mexicans are coming!” 
  • Travis and his slave, whose name was Joe, jumped out of bed, grabbed their weapons, and headed for the battery on the north wall battery. 
  • Travis yelled, “Come on boys, the Mexicans are on us and we’ll give them Hell!”

The Mexican Assault

  • Unable to see the advancing Mexicans in the darkness, the Texan artillery gunners blindly opened fire.
  • The flash of the canons illuminated the landscape that was filled with Mexican troops.
  • The Mexican soldiers had immediate and terrible losses and the first cannon blast created a gap in the Mexican column. 

William B. Travis Killed

  • Travis climbed to the top of the north wall battery and fired on the Mexicans. 
  • As he turned to reload his shotgun, a single lead ball struck him in the forehead.
  • Travis rolled down the ramp where he came to rest in a sitting position. Travis was dead. 
  • Joe saw Travis fall and retreated to a room along the west wall of the Alamo to hide.

A Fierce Battle

  • There were no safe defensive positions on the walls of the compound. 
  • Each time the Texan riflemen fired at the Mexican below, they exposed themselves to Mexican gunfire. 

Morales Attacks Crockett’s Men

  • On the south end of the Alamo, Colonel Juan Morales and about 100 riflemen attacked what they perceived was the weak area in the Texan defenses. 
  • They met heavy fire from Crockett’s riflemen and a single cannon. 
  • Morales’s men quickly moved toward the southwest corner of the Alamo and took cover behind an old stone building and the ruins of scattered huts.

Mexican Forces Breach the Walls of the Alamo

  • Mexican forces moved close to the walls but were stopped by heavy fire from the Texan guns and suffered casualties.
  • Santa Anna sent in some of his reserves.
  • The Mexicans used axes and crowbars to break through the barricaded windows and openings. They climbed through the gun ports and over the wall to enter the compound.
  • When the Texans turned to deal with one breach of the walls, it allowed Mexicans to enter through another place.
  • Eventually, the Mexicans entered the Alamo from almost every direction.

The Battle Inside the Walls of the Alamo

  • Mexican soldiers found Colonel James Bowie. Bowie was critically ill and confined to bed when the fighting began. The soldiers showed little mercy as they bayoneted him.
  • The Texans continued to pour gunfire into the advancing Mexicans but were forced to fall back to their defenses in the Long Barracks. 
  • Crockett’s men retreated into the church.
  • The rooms of the north barrack and the Long Barracks had been reinforced with raw cowhides filled with earth, allowing the Texans to hold their ground for a short time.
  • The Mexicans turned the Texan cannons on the rooms, blew holes in the walls, and then stormed into the rooms.
  • The Mexicans systematically worked their way through the rooms, until the last resistance was from within the church.

The Last Stand at the Alamo

  • Once more, the Mexicans used a Texan cannon to blow up the defenses at the entrance to the church.
  • James Butler Bonham, Almaron Dickinson, and Gregorio Esparza were killed by the cannon fire.
  • The Mexicans easily overwhelmed the Texans who were left alive.

Santa Anna Executes the Survivors

  • According to one of Santa Anna’s officers, the Mexican army overwhelmed and captured a small group of Texans, which included Davy Crockett. 
  • The prisoners were taken to Santa Anna where General Castrillón asked for mercy on their behalf. 
  • Santa Anna ordered their execution.

The Finale of the Battle of the Alamo

  • Santa Anna ordered Alcalde Francisco Ruiz to gather firewood from the surrounding countryside.
  • The bodies of the dead were stacked on pyres of wood
  • At 5:00 p.m., the pyres were lit.
  • After 13 days, the Siege of the Alamo and the Battle were over.

Timeline of the Battle of the Alamo — 13 Days to Glory

This timeline provides a summary of the siege and the battle. The name “13 Days of Glory” refers to 13 Days of Glory, a day-by-day account published by Don Tinkle in 1996.

Day 1, February 23 — Mexican forces arrive in San Antonio.

Day 2, February 24 — Colonel William B. Travis took command of the Alamo, the two sides exchanged artillery fire, and Travis wrote his famous “Victory or Death” letter.

Day 3, February 25 —  Mexican forces tried to occupy small huts on the southwest corner of the Alamo. A skirmish ensured and the Texans burned the huts. Mexican forces built more artillery batteries.

Day 4, February 26 — Winter weather slowed operations around the Alamo. A minor skirmish took place outside the walls of the Alamo when Texans went to collect water.

Day 5, February 27 — Mexican forces continued to build batteries and siege lines around the Alamo. Mexican forces cut off the water supply to the Alamo.

Day 6, February 28 — Mexican forces conducted a lengthy bombardment of the Alamo and moved closer to the walls.

Day 7, February 29  — General Antonio López de Santa Anna sent troops to block Texan reinforcements while Mexican forces surrounded the Alamo.

Day 8, March 1 — Texan reinforcements arrived from Gonzales as winter weather continued.

Day 9, March 2 — At Washington-on-the-Brazos, the Texas Provisional Government declared independence from Mexico.

Day 10, March 3 — Travis was notified reinforcements were on the way. Santa Anna received more than 1,000 reinforcements.

Day 11, March 4 — Mexican artillery batteries were moved closer to the Alamo and the bombardment continued.

Day 12, March 5 — Santa Anna announced to his officers that he intended to assault the Alamo the next day. William B. Travis drew a line in the sand and asked who would stay and defend the Alamo.

Day 13, March 6 — Mexican forces overwhelmed the Texan garrison. Despite the heroic efforts of the Texans, they were defeated after a bloody battle that lasted for 90 minutes.

Suggested Reading About the Battle of the Alamo

These are our suggestions for learning more about the Battle of the Alamo. This section contains links to Amazon.com.

13 Days of Glory

Lon Tinkle tells the day-by-day story of how 182 men fought a losing battle but won for their cause an almost unparalleled measure of fame in 13 chapters. 13 Days of Glory was published in 1996.

Texian Iliad: A Military History of the Texas Revolution

Stephen L. Hardin offers the first complete military history of the Texas Revolution, drawing on many original Texan and Mexican sources and on-site inspections of almost every battlefield. Texian Iliad was published in 1996.

Encyclopedia of the Alamo and the Texas Revolution

Thom Hatch’s encyclopedia provides thorough coverage of people, places, events, and issues from the pre-Revolution period and settlement of Texas by Americans to the forming of the Republic in 1836. The Encyclopedia of the Alamo was published in 2007.

The Blood of Heroes: The 13-Day Struggle for the Alamo — and the Sacrifice That Forged a Nation

James Donovan provides a detailed account of the battle, written from exhaustive research and using primary sources found in the U.S. and Mexican archives. The Blood of Heroes was published in 2012.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations, including APA Style, Chicago Style, and MLA Style.

  • Article Title Alamo Day 13, the Battle Takes Place
  • Date March 6, 1836
  • Author
  • Keywords Siege of the Alamo, Battle of the Alamo, William B. Travis, Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, Antonio López de Santa Anna, Remember the Alamo, San Antonio
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date April 18, 2024
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update February 15, 2024

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